Lexus to discontinue the HS 250h due to poor sales

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 16, 2011

Lexus’ HS 250h has been selling so poorly that the automaker has reportedly decided to end its run. Ever since the HS was launched in 2009, it has failed to meet expectations. It’s not yet known when exactly the HS will end though. Last month, only 205 units of the HS were sold, for an annual tally of 2,383 units so far.

This stands for a 72.8% drop compared to the same period one year ago. A new vehicle will replace the HS but the direction of this new car will understandably go a different direction.

Lexus had originally targeted the HS at owners who are moving up-scale from the Toyota Prius. However, the successor to the HS will be geared for a younger group, similar to the company’s new CT hybrid.

This strategy seems to work as the CT is currently the No. 3 Lexus nameplate in terms of sales. This new model may also have the same pricing model as the CT.

A price of $37,030 for the HS 250h is not cheap. This is comparable to the price of an Infiniti G37 and it costs almost $4,000 higher than Lexus’ own IS. However, the next-gen car is estimated to be priced at around $30,000.

The Lexus HS 250h was the first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle when it was revealed at the North American International Auto Show in 2009. It remains to be the manufacturer’s fourth hybrid and is one of the few vehicles which utilise the carbon-neutral Ecological Plastic materials in its interior.

As part of Lexus' sedan lineup, the HS 250h sits between the IS luxury sport sedan and the ES luxury sedan as part of their commitment to hybrids which research have proven more consumers would choose if there was an option to do so.

Coming with a four-cylinder gas engine, a 2.4 liter Atkinson-cycle powerplant with the Variable Valve Timing with intelligence system (VVT-i) the 250h has an impressive 187 horsepower. The addition of the Atkinson-cycle powerplant and the petrol engine allows for a much better movement of energy between the two due to the engines’ efficiency.

This efficiency has enabled more than a 30% increase in fuel economy than any other model in the Lexus series and at the same time the vehicle has been granted a SULEV emission rating even when using 87-octane gas.

Some of the changes in technology include the new cooling piston oil jets, a hot-air venting system behind the radiator and the Noise, Vibration and Harshness balance has been optimised.

The 250h much like the 2010 Lexus RX 450h has been specifically designed to aid efficiency. Engine warm-up time has been reduced due to the excellent heat recovery system which allows it to run for longer periods.

The windshield helps to maintain the temperature inside with the assistance of infrared. This works by detecting the current cabin temperature and reducing the amount of air conditioning needed to keep the cabin at a constant temperature. This, in combination with the new power-saving LED headlamps, has created a vehicle with a significantly reduced fuel need and emission output.

Topics: lexus, sales, hybrid

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